SUMMARY: A theory is developed to predict the growth rates of photosynthetic microbes in a photobiological reactor with light-sufficient zones and dark zones. The theory also predicts that in light-limited cultures the maintenance energy will increase in proportion to the duration of the dark period.

The theory was tested and quantitatively confirmed by means of a loop reactor which permitted light and dark periods to be varied with a total cycle time of 40 s. An axenic Chlorella culture grown at the maximum rate under light-sufficient conditions could continue growth at the maximum rate in the dark for 9·2 s. It was found that the maintenance energy was zero in the light, but endogenous metabolism of resting cells in the dark corresponded to a large maintenance energy of 8·8 kJ (g dry wt) h. These results have much significance for the design of photobiological reactors.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error